It has been more than twenty years since Astronaut Mamoru Mohri became the first Japanese to fly into space by Space Shuttle. Since that Space Shuttle flight, in September, 1992, Astronauts Chiaki Mukai, Kouichi Wakata, Takao Doi, Soichi Noguchi, Akihiko Hoshide and Naoko Yamazaki have also successfully completed their missions. In June 2011, Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa started his long-term stay mission at the International Space Station, then, in July 2011, three new astronauts, Kimiya Yui, Takuya Ohnishi, and Norishige Kanai, were certified as ISS onboard astronauts.
JAXA astronauts have been accumulating technologies, experiences and knowledge for Japan’s manned space flights while contributing to the International Space Station project through the assembly work of the ISS and the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo. The astronauts engage in the following major tasks while staying at the ISS by utilizing their previous experiences.
Needless to say, astronauts need to have expert knowledge of science and technology. In addition, they are required to be fluent in English, in order to communicate with astronauts from different countries who live and work with them. Astronauts have been selected based on the screening of application documents; a series of written exams on the English language, general and specialized knowledge of natural science, interviews, and medical and psychological examinations.
After being selected, astronaut candidates undergo Basic Training. They obtain basic knowledge and technical skills in space engineering, space science, space medicine, the Space Shuttle and ISS systems, the English and Russian languages. They also receive flight training and physical training. Upon completion of Basic Training, they are officially certified as astronauts and receive more advanced training in the operation of spacecraft systems and experimental equipment, as well as training to work in space. They also continue with language instruction, flight training, and physical training.
After assignment to a specific Space Shuttle mission or ISS increment, astronauts receive training in the specific tasks to be conducted during launch, in orbit, and on return, and participate in simulation training along with other astronauts and flight controllers.
So far, those training sessions have been conducted mainly by NASA; but for participation in the ISS, Japanese astronauts, training sessions will be conducted mainly at JAXA.
|Soyuz||Astronaut Yui to fly Expedition 44/45|
|Soyuz||Astronaut Wakana to fly Expedition 38/39|
|Astronaut Hoshide to fly Expedition 32/33|
|Astronaut Furukawa to fly Expedition 28/29||6/8 - 11/22/2011|
|STS-131||Astronaut Yamazaki, ISS Assembly Flight 19A to fly STS-131||4/5 - 4/20/2010|
|Astronaut Noguchi, Expedition 22/23, by Soyuz (21S/TMA-17)||12/21/2009 - 6/2/2010|
|Astronaut Wakata, ISS Assembly Flight 2J/A, by Space Shuttle Endeavour||7/16 - 7/31/2009|
|STS-119||Astronaut Wakata, ISS Assembly Flight 15A, by Space Shuttle Discovery (Expedition 18/19/20)||3/16 - 3/26/2009|
|Astronaut Hoshide, ISS Assembly Flight 1J, by Space Shuttle Discovery||6/1 - 6/15/2008|
|Astronaut Doi, ISS Assembly Flight 1J/A, by Space Shuttle Endeavour||3/11 - 3/27/2008|
|STS-114||Astronaut Noguchi, ISS Assembly Flight LF1, by Space Shuttle Discovery||7/26 - 8/9/2005|
|STS-92||Astronaut Wakata, ISS Assembly Flight 3A, by Space Shuttle Discovery||10/12 - 10/25/2000|
|STS-99||Astronaut Mohri, Second Shuttle Flight, by Space Shuttle Endeavour||2/12 - 2/23/2000|
|STS-95||Astronaut Mukai, Second Shuttle Flight, by Space Shuttle Discovery||10/30 - 11/8/1998|
|STS-87||Astronaut Doi, Japan's First EVA, by Space Shuttle Columbia||11/20 - 12/5/1997|
|STS-72||Astronaut Wakata, First Mission Specialist of Japan, by Space Shuttle Endeavour||1/11 - 1/20/1996|
|STS-65||Astronaut Mukai, Second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2), by Space Shuttle Columbia||7/9 - 7/23/1994|
|STS-47||Astronaut Mohri, Fuwatto '92 (First Material Processing Test/FMPT), by Space Shuttle Endeavour||9/12 - 9/20/1992|
Mar. 9, 2010
Getting Ready for First Spaceflight
Nov. 20, 2009
First Extended Stay in Space by a Japanese Astronaut
Jul. 11, 2008
Moving Toward a New Era of Manned Space Activities
July 5, 2005
Supporting the Return-to-flight
August 10, 2004
Training progresses to next stage
February 16, 2004
One year since the Columbia accident